Today I finally received my “little” black and oolong adventures from Tea-Adventure. The “little adventures” are sampling packages with samples of all the teas of the specific category (so a little black adventure contains samples of all the black teas Tea-Adventure sells). I’m sooo happy. The only downside is that now I have such a great many samples that it’s neigh to impossible to choose :-)

With a previous order I had a sample of this tea and I really really liked it. So therefore this tea is the first on my to-try-list of today.

The taste is sweet, toasty and with a very definite mineral impression. I can’t say I recognize anything fruity floral. According to the description of Verdant Tea (I reckon it’s the same tea based on the name) there should be notes of caramel, hazelnut, elderberry, custard, honeydew and/or orchid. I can’t say I can discern those either. Sometimes I wonder if you can and should compare certain teas with the flavors of known foods. This tea definitely is something totally different from anything else I know and I love it!

It’s going on my to order list.

In the second steep the sweetness increases and becomes nearly caramelized like. I believe a detect a very slight hint of maltiness as well. Overall the mineral impression remains the most dominant feature. All in all, the second steep is just as worthwhile as the first, and I don’t say that often…

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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What to say about myself and my tea drinking habits? I’ve been staring at the screen, reading other’s bio’s and still can’t come up with something worthwile. I’ll just stick to the basics.

I generally prefer white, green and oolong teas to black teas. As I read a scientific report that stated that black teas lower the level of stress hormones in the blood, I try to add a few cups of black tea every day.

Overall I prefer black teas to be flavoured. The white, green and oolongs may be flavoured or straight.

I brew my teas per cup, mostly in my – much loved – Kati mug with Cha Cult strainer. I’m rather a stickler for brewing time and temperature, so I use a tea timer and watercooker with temperature indication.

I also love a good cup of coffee and especially cappuchino. As far as I’m concerned, a good cappuchino requires a real milk/foam topping, not something made with skimmed milk, powder or the like. Unfortunately a lot of cafes still haven’t caught on to that one and serve low quality coffee and tea (type vending machine and bagged fannings). I hate it when, on a cold winter day, the choice is restricted to bad coffee, bagged fannings or a cold softdrink… :-(

As for rating teas, I more or less make the following distinction:

Nothing is perfect. Probably won’t be using it ever.

98 – 99:
Nearly too good to be true.

90 – 97:

80 – 89:

70 – 79:
Good. May rebuy depending on price and availability.

60 – 69:
Ok I’ll finish the cup and maybe even have a second, but probably won’t finish the entire package as I have other – (far) better teas in my cupboard.

< 60:
I feel cheated. I won’t ever be buying this again.

< 50:
This really is no good.

< 30:
I hate this. I want my money back.

Beyond horrible!

PS: Recalibrated my ratings according to this index on 23 feb 2013.


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